Empire of Agber
| Empire of Agber |
|Official language(s)||English, German|
|- Emperor/Empress||Arlene (1998-2021)|
|Population||149 (2022 est.)|
The Empire of Agber was a micronational project that was founded in early 1998 as the Empire of Agber, with Kolios becoming a nation within the Empire. The primary focus of the Empire ws activity at Renaissance Festivals and other such events where period dress is deemed acceptable. The Empire was formally disbanded on 1 November 2021, when all nations became fully independent nations joined by the Agberian Alliance, also returned the larger Agberian community to its focus on anachronism and away from its ties to the greater micronational community.
Prior to Founding of the Empire
- Main article: Principality of Kolios
In 1995, three friends began discussing a book one of them had been gifted for his birthday on the Order of Malta. This led to a fair amount of research and discussion on what it would be like to establish a country of their own. These early discussions primarily took place in local playgrounds and libraries. After a number of weeks and the addition of three other youths, a decision was made to found their own country as the Kingdom of Kolios on 20 September 1995. It was founded under the rule of King Stephen, who ruled until 24 May 1997, when he abdicated in favor of Queen Arlene.
In 1998, after her family moving from Augsburg, Germany, to Fort Drum, New York, Queen Arlene of Kolios decided to revamp the project as the Empire of Agber, using the capital of Kolios as the eat of a self-declared Empire.
First and Second Eras
The first era of the Empire, sometimes called the Founding Era, lasted from its founding on 7 January 1998 until 30 October 2004. During this time, the second and third nations, the Grand Duchy of Carthage and the Enclave de Cordova, saw their founding and subsequent addition to the Empire. During this phase, Empress Arlene also claimed the areas of Bir Tawil and Marie Byrd Land as protectorates. During this time, the entirety of Agber operated as a single entity or court, with the heads of individual nations serving as more of a retinue for Empress Arlene. This era ended when Empress Arlene joined the United States Air Force.
The second era, sometimes called the Transient Era, ran from 1 November 2004 until 28 February 2013 (the length of Empress Arlene's tenure in the US Air Force). This era functioned as a scaled down version of the first, with a number of appointees coming and going, Empress Arlene being the only real constant. This is owed primarily to the Empire's lack of an internet presence essentially keeping the functional government limited to the area of whichever military base the Empress was assigned to, at the time. While still active, the Empire saw no real growth or additions in terms of policy, initiatives, or additions of orders of chivalry, the last of these having become a cornerstone of the pageantry within Agber's culture.
The Empire's third era, also known as the Renaissance, is regarded as having run from 1 March 2013 until 8 April 2020. This era saw an increase in the types of activities and stability seen in the first era. It also saw the addition of the Empire's most recent addition, Sawatch. One of the most notable changes during this era was Empress Arlene's insistence that each of the nations of the Empire were charged with developing their own cultures. Those that emerged included:
- Kolios (and Agber, as a whole) developing more of a focus on inspirations from the Holy Roman Empire.
- Carthage leaning into France's era of the House of Valois, with a few elements from early Bourbon rule.
- Cordova emerging as a society influenced by early Spanish Colonialism.
- Sawatch taking on influences from the early and mid-Ottoman Empire.
This era solidified Agber's primary existence as a vehicle for Renaissance Fair culture. A large part of court life revolved around this fact; court was often held within the confines of a Fair, and various retinues were charged with roaming the events and interacting with visitors. This often included the bestowing of knighthoods and taking oaths of fealty from those who wished to pledge service to the Empire or its subsidiary nations.
The Empire's fourth era began on 9 April 2020. The transition in eras was marked by two distinct events. The first of these was the global Covid-19 pandemic that began causing lockdowns and event closures across the world in March of that same year. This is considered to have primed the Empire for the changes that began almost immediately after the reintroduction of one of Kolios' founders to the fold, the Margrave of Sulli.
In early April, Margrave Jordan rediscovered a notebook containing details of the Kingdom by way of his mother sorting through old items in her charge. As he was then involved in the online micronational community as Westarctica's Prime Minister, this forgotten project was of great personal interest to him. Since the Margrave's record of events ceased in mid 1997, he assumed the Kingdom to be defunct and began trying to track down other members of the project, in the hopes of filling out his records for inclusion in his eventual "micronational memoirs."
Margrave Jordan discovered the continued existence of Kolios, and its evolution into the Empire through Empress Arlene. The beginning of their correspondence is regarded by the Empress as the start of a fourth era, when the Empire was introduced to the wider community of micronations. Though this era was incredibly short-lived, it included a considerable amount of noteworthy developments. Initially, the period was marked primarily with a revitalization of record-keeping and development in both vexillology and heraldry. Where the nations within the Empire were originally using different colored flags of an identical Naval Jack design, a new unique flag was created for each nation except for Kolios, which kept its flag.
June of 2020 has been dubbed by Empress Arlene as "the most eventful month in our Empire's short history." On 9 June, it was announced that the Tenshukyō Shogunate, a project based on Feudal Japanese culture in Atlanta, had entered a transitional period. This period had a stated goal of joining the Empire within a month, as a dependency with more autonomy than existing nations within the Empire held. 17 June brought the founding of a new nation within the Empire, the Kingdom of Maevis, which was formed by Queen Barbara, a former Comtesse in the Grand Duchy of Carthage. This project based in Shetland, processed a structure of more autonomy than earlier nations of the Empire, much like the Shogunate.
Perhaps the biggest change of this period came in an announcement on 18 June, when Empress Arlene declared a restructuring of the Empire as an elective monarchy. This meant she would still serve as Empress, but her successor was to be elected from the heads of the nations within the Empire when the Rose Throne becomes vacant. Due to the new structure, her role as Princess of Kolios would become official as part of qualifying her to be Empress, instead of a ceremonial title held because of her role as Empress. As part of this move, full autonomy of internal national affairs were handed over to the heads of Carthage, Cordova, Kolios, and Sawatch, to include the control of the National Orders that had previously been held by Empress Arlene as the font of honor. Naturally this announcement created a number of smaller changes. This proclamation was dubbed by several members of the Empire as the "Indiana Proclamation," since Empress Arlene cited her move to that state to focus on getting her medical degree as a significant factor.
In August of 2020, Empress Arlene introduced an initiative she dubbed the "Call to Sovereignty." Inspired by the recent addition of the Kingdom of Maevis, this program was aimed at giving current and former members of the Empire and its subsidiary nations an opportunity to "strike out and form their own nation within the Empire." While a proposal can be brought to her at any time, those chosen as a part of this initiative will receive extra assistance and guidance in the formation of their nation than might be normally provided. The only stipulation the Empress made on proposals is that the project be based around a cultural identity not currently represented in the Empire. Two nations would come to existence as a part of this initiative.
The Fourth Era saw a move that was regarded by some as a departure from the Empire's long-standing existence as a vehicle for creative anachronism, or "Ren Fair culture" in favor of moving towards online micronationalism. Opponents of this view hold that the changes and additions to Agberian society were aimed at supporting and deepening the existing culture, and that the lull in in-person activity was a result of the ongoing global pandemic. These views, and the camps they created sowed the initial divisions that would be fueled by macronational politics, primarily those in the US and the UK.
The framing of this era seems to be primarily called "Growth Era," while a minority are referring to it simply as "the Plague." The latter camp seems to be made up mostly of those who hold the changes sparked by Margrave Jordan in a negative light.
Abdication of Empress Arlene
During the late fall of 2020, Empress Arlene came out as a very vocal supporter of the US President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. These views caused strong reactions in the Agberian Discord forums, with most of the more conservative camp who resisted the changes Margrave Jordan sparked coming out in support of her. The most vocal opposition to her views came from Shogun Devon of Tenshukyō, who was known to be heavily involved in the runoff election campaigns in Georgia, as a supporter of the two Democratic candidates.
In-fighting on the server was intense, but managed to not reach a head until Empress Arlene came out against Scottish sovereignty on the evening of 26 February 2021, which led to a vicious escalation that played out over the next two days.
- A number of Carthagean citizens broke away from the Grand Duchy and its parent Empire on 27 February. More than half of the active roster left, along with the provinces of Black River and Turning to form the Royal Republic of Rivière Noire. The next day, the province of Rulison would join the separatists and would elect its first ruler: King Quentin.
- A public call for Empress Arlene to abdicate as Empress by Queen Barbara of Maevis on 27 February. Her call cited the divisive influence of the Empress being to the detriment of the greater collective.
- On the morning of 28 February, Grand Duke Gilbert of Liguria publicly dissolved his new nation, but would amend the decision within hours, making Liguria a colonial holding of the Archduchy of Verdura.
- Early on 1 March, the planned Rosetta Sultanate announced its decision to establish itself as a separate entity from the Empire. It had previously been targeting a launch date in the Summer of that year, but decided it wanted no part of an Empire that its future Sultan said "seems destined to tear itself apart under the strain of real-world politics."
Largely as a result of these events, Empress Arlene announced on 15 March that she would be abdicating as Empress on 29 March 2021. She retained her crown as Princess of Kolios. After a number of succession votes among the individual heads of state for the Empire's individual nations, Shogun Devon was elected Emperor. While much of the voting had been alongside the lines of "camps" that had recently formed within Agber, Empress Arlene's cousin and Protector of Carthage, Ashleigh Sinodis, broke ranks and voted in favor of Shogun Devon to ascend as the Emperor of Agber on 29 March 2021.
The Empire's fifth and final era began with the ascendency of Emperor Devon to the throne on 29 March 2021.
On 3 April 2021, Carthagean Protector Ashleigh Sinodis announced her intent to dissolve the Grand Duchy of Carthage to the Emperor and national heads of state. She cited the reasoning being her inability to reach Emperor Eric or his legal guardian for a period of nearly four months coupled with the departure of most of the nation's active citizens to the Royal Republic of Rivière Noire. The decision was approved on 5 April, two days later. As a result of Carthage's dissolution, Emperor Devon was able to negotiate the Royal Republic of Rivière Noire joining the Empire on 18 May 2021.
On 26 May 2021, Emperor Devon brought up the possibility of the Empire evolving into more of an alliance. While he stated that it was not something he expressly wanted, he was curious to look into the possibility and how it might work. He held a vote of heads of state as to whether or not to form a committee to draft up a proposal. The motion was denied by a vote of 5 (Berwyn, Cordova, Kolios, Severny, and Verdura) to 3 (Maevis, Rivière Noire, and Tenshukyō).
For the remainder of 2021, the Empire still formally existed, but practically was a loose coalition of independent nations. The matter of changing to an Alliance was raised again in early 2022, when the matter passed by a vote of 2 (Cordova and Verdura) to 5 (Lauchammer, Prydain, Rivière Noire, Tenshukyō, and White Sands). The Empire would formally be dissolved on 1 November 2022, with all of the active nations at the time except the Archduchy of Verdura forming the Agberian Alliance, which styled itself more akin to the League of Nations, with all nations being fully Sovereign in their own right.
The Empire was overseen by an Emperor or Empress. Each territory had their own head, who was known by their own title, and had autonomy over their nation. This autonomy could only be overridden by Imperial authority. Succession was determined by a majority vote of the national Heads of State within the Empire, with each of them being eligible for the role of Emperor. Two additional votes were cast by persons ineligible to be selected to the role: The Grandmaster of the Knights Veritas, and the former Emperor's Chancellor.
The Empire had fourteen different national territories throughout its existence.
|Territory||Flag||Capital||Title of Head||Tenure||Geographical Area||Notes|
|Principality of Kolios||Vindelkrieg||Prince/Princess||20 September 1995 - 26 February 2022||Bavaria, Germany||Left the Empire and became a Protectorate of the Grand Duchy of Westarctica|
|Grand Duchy of Carthage||Drumm Stronghold||Grand Duke/Grand Duchess||7 January 1998 - 5 April 2021||New York, USA|
|Reino de Cordova||Mariposa||Baron/Baronesa||27 August 2002 - 1 November 2022||California, USA||Joined the Agberian Alliance|
|Sawatch Emirate||Tiene Vista||Emir/Emira||31 January 2014 - 28 September 2020||Colorado, USA|
|Tenshukyō Shogunate||Redan||Shogun||2 October 2018 - 1 November 2022||Georgia, USA||Capital was the final seat of Empire|
Joined the Agberian Alliance
|Kingdom of Maevis||Vikksborg||King/Queen||17 June 2020 - 5 January 2022||Shetland, Scotland||Combined with Berwyn in 2022 to form the Prydain Kingdom|
|Archduchy of Verdura||Whitestone||Archduke/Archduchess||19 August 2020 - 1 November 2022||Indiana, USA||Was the only territory of the Empire that chose not to join the Agberian Alliance.|
|Grand Duchy of Liguria||Michaelangelo||Grand Duke/Grand Duchess||10 November 2020 - 28 February 2021||California, USA||Became provincial holding of Verdura|
|Tsardom of Severny||Nikolagrad||Tsar/Tsarina||1 February 2021 - 15 June 2021||British Columbia, Canada|
|Principality of Berwyn||Glaslyn||Prince/Princess||25 February 2021 - 5 January 2022||Denbighshire, Wales||Combined with Maevis in 2022 to form the Prydain Kingdom|
|Royal Republic of Rivière Noire||Black River||King/Queen||27 February 2021 - 1 November 2022||New York, USA||Formed by separatists from Carthage|
Joined the Agberian Alliance
|Grand Duchy of Lauchammer||Maxburg||Grand Duke/Duchess||13 December 2021 - 1 November 2022||Texas, USA||Joined the Agberian Alliance|
|Prydain Kingdom of Maevis, Berwyn, and Innèsoil||Vikksborg||Queen/King||5 January 2022 - 1 November 2022||Shetland, Scotland
|Allied kingdom of three formerly independent projects in Ireland, Shetland, and Wales|
Joined the Agberian Alliance
|Sultanate of the White Sands||Laluz||Sultan||28 March 2022 - 1 November 2022||New Mexico, USA||Joined the Agberian Alliance|
Principality of Kolios
- Main article: Protectorate of Kolios
The Principality of Kolios predates the formation of the Empire, having been established on 20 September 1995 as the Kingdom of Kolios in Bavaria, Germany. When the final member of the founders and then Queen, Arlene moved away from the area, she decided to restructure Kolios as a Principality within an Empire in 1998. The Principality saw miimal activity from 1998 to 2020.
The Principality left the Empire on 26 February 2022 under the eye of Price Garibald. The next day it became a territorial holding of Westarctica when Prince Garibald and Grand Duke Travis signed the Marana Accords.
Grand Duchy of Carthage
In late 1997, then Queen Arlene of Kolios' family relocated from Augsburg, Germany, to Fort Drum, in upstate New York. Shortly after settling in, she began considering the future of the Then Kingdom of Kolios. After studying types of governments, she settled on scaling back its profile to that of a Principality, and establishing a new nation in her current location that she dubbed the Grand Duchy of Carthage on 7 January 1998. Initially Empress Arlene also served as the Grand Duchess of Carthage. After a few months of doing so she decided to relinquish that title to a friend, who became known as Grand Duke Andrew.
These early days of the Grand Duchy saw it operate largely as an after-school activity, much as Kolios had. This application would continue on even as Empress Arlene moved away during her parents divorce in 2002 to California.
In August 2003 the Order of the Rosy Cross was created by Grand Duke Andrew. Six Knights and Dames were initially named to the order before Empress Arlene learned of the name's ties to the Rosicrucian movement, and Grand Duke Andrew's attempts to make Carthage a bastion of Rosicrucian thinking and culture. Due to these facts, and given that physical regalia had not yet been purchased and distributed, Empress Arlene ordered that the order be disbanded and all memberships revoked in November of that same year. In protest, Andrew immediately severed ties with the Empress and Agber, without even so much as an official resignation.
As a result of these events, all remaining stock from the first iteration of the Order of the White Lion was lost, as well as a number of pieces for the Order of Carthage. As she had helped fund the Order of Carthage pieces, this sequence of events prompted Empress Arlene to declare the National Order of each territory to be directly under her control, with her assuming the entire funding of them moving forward. The lost pieces are presumed to still be held by the former Grand Duke.
From 2004 through 2013, Empress Arlene was a member of the United States Air Force, and saw herself stationed at four different bases. While Carthage initially carried on with business as usual under the guidance of Grand Duchess Charlotte. In August 2005, Charlotte abdicated from the throne, citing her weariness with being part of an Empire that felt very detached from Carthagean affairs. All of her provincial governors quit at this time. Rather than let Carthage officially go defunct, Empress Arlene decided to make the role of Grand Duke or Duchess a position within the retinue she surrounded herself with at Renaissance Festivals and Fairs, something that had become part of her activities during her time working directly with what was then the Enclave de Cordova. This Era saw the service of Grand Dukes Nicholas and George, as well as Grand Duchess Anne as the head of Carthage. Despite their service, they had no administrative duties (aside from serving as the font of honor for the Order of the White Lion), and never had any provincial governors.
As part of the Empire's Renaissance, Empress Arlene appointed Grand Duke Louis as the nation's seventh head of state in 2013. He was selected due to a combination of having been involved with Carthage during the reign of Grand Duchess Charlotte, his residing in the geographical area of the Grand Duchy, and his familiarity and involvement with Renaissance Fair culture. As he was charged with developing a unique identity for the nation, Carthage began introducing more aspects taken from France's era of the House of Valois with a few elements from early Bourbon rule.
The ascension of Grand Duke Eric after his father's death in 2020 proved to be the first step in the eventual dissolution of the Grand Duchy. Global politics led to divisions in the ranks of Carthage's citizens. Without a strong central leader, these rifts widened to chasms in February 2021. This culminated in a number of Carthagean citizens breaking away from the Grand Duchy and its parent Empire on 27 February. More than half of the active roster left, along with the provinces of Black River and Turning to form the Royal Republic of Rivière Noire. The next day, the province of Rulison would join the separatists and would elect its first ruler: King Quentin.
On 3 April 2021, Carthagean Protector Ashleigh Sinodis announced her intent to dissolve the Grand Duchy of Carthage to Emperor Devon and the other national heads of state. She cited the reasoning being her inability to reach Emperor Eric or his legal guardian for a period of nearly four months coupled with the departure of most of the nation's active citizens to Rivière Noire. The decision was approved on 5 April, officially dissolving Carthage after more than 23 years.
Reino de Cordova
Empress Arlene's parents separated in 2002, with Arlene relocating to Northern California with her mother that summer, to have family closer by during the transition. While there, the Empress began connecting with a group of people involved in both Renaissance Fairs and the Society for Creative Anachronism. This led to the creation of the Enclave de Cordova on 27 August of that year, with her cousin, Gilbert, serving at the nation's first Baron, making it the first nation within the Empire of Agber where Empress Arlene did not serve as the national head of state. He would continue in that role until 2004.
Cordova was initially unique for having a more vibrant and established culture than Carthage or Kolios. This was primarily due to the defining role that creative anachronism played, with Renaissance Fair culture squarely at the center of Cordovese affairs. Though it would wait until 2013, this aspect would eventually be extended to the entirety of the Agberian Empire.
During the time that Empress Arlene served in the United States Air Force, the greater activity of the Empire was sparse. Typically only being briefly revived when there was an event the Empress wanted to create a retinue for. Cordova was the glaring exception to this; owing largely to the fact that the Enclave enjoyed a greater sense of purpose due to the focus on Renaissance Fair culture and experienced a larger degree of ability to exist away from the Empress. Additionally, Empress Arlene had family in the area, and still visited during the nearly decade-long Second Era.
During this era, Cordova and the Empress had a relationship that fluctuated between cordial and contentious. While most Carthageans supported the notion of the Empire, Baronesa Nicolette and her successor, Baron Peter, regarded Empress Arlene as an absentee meddler on more than one occasion. The strain would come to a breaking point right after Arlene's discharge from the Air Force, when she approached then Baron Peter about a revamp of the project. Peter initially expressed interest in leaving the Empire rather than have someone he said was "little more than a stranger" meddle with Cordovese affairs on a whim. When he held a vote among the provincial leaders, he found that they unanimously supported the Empress' plan. He in turn abdicated the throne without naming a preferred successor in what was described by one account as a "dramatic affair." Empress Arlene then appointed Baron Devon as the nation's fourth head of state in 2013.
In 2013, Cordova's culture was a relatively non-descript snapshot of general Renaissance Fair activities, relying only on the use of Spanish honorifics and titles. In order to distinguish itself as part of the Empire's new initiative, the Enclave began to evolve into more of a take on early Spanish Colonialism under the leadership of Baron Devon. During his reign, Cordova transcended the small circle of friends it had previously been. Baron Devon sponsored jousters, would provide patronage to vendors in exchange for their display of a Cordovese banner, and would occasionally "hold court." The work done by Devon to make Cordova a true part of Cordova's local Renaissance Fair scene inspired approaches utilized by Empress Arlene and other nations within the Empire.
In early 2018, Baron Devon relocated to Atlanta, Georgia for work. He decided to abdicate in favor of Doña Celestina, who was serving as the head of Provincial Dorado at the time. She was elevated to the title of Baronesa, a role she currently holds. While he stated that he hated stepping down, the culture Devon had fostered within Cordova during his five years as Baron would be unsustainable with an absent Sovereign.
When Cordova was handed more autonomy as a part of the 18 June 2020 proclamation, the Baronesa Celestina immediately restructured the Enclave as a kingdom, opting to use the Spanish wording Reino. This elevated her title to that of Reina, and the former Dons and Doñas were elevated to the rank of Barón or Baronesa. Additionally, she announced a new structure of nobility for Cordova that is designed to blend aspects of both aristocracy and meritocracy, an would heavily influence the changes made to the Nobility of Kolios during the reign of Prince Garibald.
"All provincial heads will hold the minimum title of Barón/Baronesa. Through a merit-based system, they can raise their title to Marquês/Marquesa, and again to Duque/Duquesa. Provincial successors will hold the title immediately below that of their predecessor (i.e. a Duquesa's successor will be a Marquês, and a Marquês' will be a Baronesa). Successors to the office held by a Barón/Baronesa will retain that same rank. Children of a noble will hold the title immediately below that of their parent, much in the same way a provincial successor works. However, the child of a Barón or Baronesa will hold the non-noble title of Don or Doña. Children of a Cordovese who holds a non-noble title will be afforded no title or honorific."
Cordova became fully independent and sovereign for the first time in its existence on 1 November 2022, when the Empire of Agber disbanded. It was a founding member of the succeeding Agberian Alliance.
Empress Arlene relocated to Colorado in late 2013, shortly after being discharged from the US Air Force. She quickly partnered with a new friend in the area, who would go on to become the first Sovereign of the nation, Emir Victor. The two formed the Sawatch Emirate on 31 January 2014, as a part of the Empire of Agber. The name was taken from the Sawatch Range of mountains in the Rockies.
Sawatchi culture was the least well-defined of Agberian nations. Much of the inspiration originally came from the Ottoman Empire, with additional aspects derived from western Native American culture, and much of its naming conventions being in Spanish. As such, some publicly stated that the nation felt unfocused and "rather a mess." Additionally, much of its activity was regarded more as an extension of the Empress' court than an independent venture.
During the Empire's fourth era, there was effort put into helping Sawatch stand on its own, with the unveiling of a new flag, and discussion of expanding the number of provinces. Ultimately, much of this never came to fruition, with the few changes actually made being more superficial than anything. Even the new flag, which had been intended to help instill a sense of national pride, wound up being nothing more than the Imperial flag with the addition of three non-descript stars.
In June 2020, Empress Arlene returned a large degree of autonomy to the nations within the Empire. Feeling unable to take on additional duties, Emir Victor stepped down, with Bey Isaac taking his place. The former Emir then assumed the role of governorship for Lenado. This effectively resulted in Victor and Isaac switching roles.
Isaac immediately began creating a more distinct culture within Sawatch, which was renamed the Sawatch Emirate. While Native American symbolism would not be erased, the Ottoman influences were declared to be the new way forward for the nation. The new Emir also began working on amending aspects of Sawatch's orders, including dropping Christian symbolism and wording from the Order of Sawatch, as well as procuring more regalia for the Order of the Mile High Breeze. The latter would see an elevation to become the nation's new highest honor and would see the addition of new ranks.
Days later, the Emirate unveiled a new flag. While it honored the design of the previous flag, it was created to be more visually distinctive from the flag of the Empire. The three blue stars were also replaced with the crescent and star, in an attempt to give the nation more of an Ottoman feel.
Relations between Emir Isaac and Arlene, Empress of Agber had always been tense, even before he took the throne. As he became head of Sawatch, this only increased the frequency and intensity of altercations between the two. On 25 September 2020 he released a strongly-worded and expletive-laden memo highlighting issues he had with the running of the Empire. After conferring with the other heads of state within Agber, in discussions the Emir was privy to, Empress Arlene called a vote to expel Sawatch from the Empire on 28 September 2020. With two votes remaining to be counted (Carthage and Maevis), the Emirate looked like it was going to be successfully expelled, but Isaac declared that he was disbanding Sawatch instead, effective immediately.
In 2018, then Baron Devon of the Enclave de Cordova announced he would be abdicating the throne as part of his move to Atlanta. Despite urging by the majority of those involved with Cordova to simply rule from his new area, Devon thought it would be in Cordova's best interests for it to have a sovereign who was local to the community. Although he remained close with Cordova and its new ruler, Celestina, the former Baron began planning a new endeavor almost immediately.
Initial plans were focused on creating a national identity that would largely mirror Cordovese culture, with a slightly stronger focus on mainland Spain, as opposed to Cordova's colonial focus. This was quickly abandoned when he briefly visited with his parents while his great-grandmother was over from Japan. The in-depth discussions about his Japanese heritage and his subsequent studies as a result of the visit led to a change in plans. Attention shifted to a focus on the Muromachi and Edo periods of Japan, which fell within the time periods generally viewed acceptable at Renaissance Festivals. He began discussing the matter in groups for his local community, and quickly found others interested in building the project with him. He would officially found the Shogunate on 2 October of that same year. It was named Tenshukyō (天主教) for the Japanese word for celestial.
Over the next few months, the newly minted Shogun worked with his new friends to make a splash at the 2019 Georgia Renaissance Festival. Banners, armor, weapons, and even "Orders of Honor" were acquired or manufactured for the endeavor. Owing to the relative lack of Japanese culture present at the fair, Shogun Devon and his retinue were regarded with delight and an overwhelmingly positive reaction from other fair-goers. The Shogunate has been praised for challenging the Euro-centricity often found at fairs, as well as bringing awareness to the Japanese culture of this period.
Tenshukyō does not have districts with clearly identified borders. Instead, five clans hold seats on a council, with the Shogun's clan serving as head. These five clans may be dismissed by unanimous vote of the other four, with a new clan being appointed to the Council by the Shogun. This has only been done once when Clan Kochō was removed for having been absent from Shogunate affairs for a number of months. The head of a Clan with a seat on the Council is called a Daimyo, regardless of gender. The head of any clan that does not have a Council seat is not afforded any special honorific.
Members of the Shogunate's orders are not given a specific honorific, such as Knight or Dame. Instead, they are simply known as a recipient of that degree. Much like those of the Japanese system it is inspired by, the Shogunate's orders exist as part of a single structure of honor.
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Moon: For impeccable and prolonged service to the Shogunate. The highest honor, reserved only for the Shogun themselves.
- Grand Cordon of the Order of Kanju and Manju: For impeccable service to the Shogunate. Reserved only for Daimyos of the Council Clans.
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Peach Blossom: For exceptional and prolonged service to the Shogunate. The highest honor conferred upon citizens of the Shogunate
- Star and Seal of the Order of the Rising Moon: For exceptional service to the Shogunate. The highest honor that can be awarded for acts of a singular nature.
- Star and Seal of the Order of Kanju and Manju: For distinguished and prolonged service to the Shogunate. The highest honor that can be conferred to individuals who are not members of the Shogunate.
- Star and Seal of the Order of the Peach Blossom: For distinguished service to the Shogunate.
- Seal of the Order of Kanju and Manju: For prolonged service to the Shogunate.
- Seal of the Order of the Peach Blossom: For service to the Shogunate.
- Medal of the Order of the Peach Blossom: For personal achievement or distinction. Awarded much in the same way that the Order of Arlene I is.
The Shogunate joined the Empire of Agber on 1 July 2020. Initially announced as a dependency, the Shogunate was primed to enjoy a great deal more autonomy than existing territory nations. This distinction became moot, however, when Empress Arlene announced that more autonomy would be bestowed upon the first four nations in the Empire with the Indiana Proclamation.
Beginning 29 March 2021, the Shogunate's capital, Redan, and the Tidal Throne became the seats of power for the Empire of Agber, when Shogun Devon became the Emperor of Agber. This was the case until the Empire disbanded on 1 November 2022. The Shogunate was a founding member nation of the Agberian Alliance.
Kingdom of Maevis
The founder and first Sovereign of Maevis, Queen Barbara, had previously served within the Empire as the Comtesse of Rulison, within the Grand Duchy of Carthage. She served dutifully in this role until she relocated back to Shetland in early 2018. She remained involved with Carthagean affairs, and retained her citizenship with them after leaving, and began initial discussions with Empress Arlene of Agber about forming a new nation within the Empire in the late spring of 2020. The idea for the nation came from her home area's blending of Norse and Scottish traditions.
The Kingdom of Maevis was founded on 18 June 2020, as a part of the Empire of Agber. Its name was taken from the Old Norse word Mæveiðs, which means narrow land. Provincial heads hold the title of Jarl, regardless of their gender. Clans exist much as they do in Scottish tradition, but they have no official role in the government of the nation. Maevis' capital is Vikksborg.
Queen Barbara would sit the Rowan Throne for the entirety of Maevis as a solo endeavor. It joined with two other projects on 5 January 2022 to form the Prydain Kingdom of Maevis, Berwyn, and Innèsoil. Queen Barbara would become the Sovereign of this new unified nation.
Archduchy of Verdura
Empress Arlene of Agber relocated to Indiana to earn her medical degree in 2020. This move put her living in the same town as family, which led to her niece, Priscilla, becoming more interested in the Empire. Eventually, a plan to create a new nation was created, leading to the declaration of the Archduchy of Verdura on 19 August of that year. Verduran culture is based on Mediterranean Italy, namely the Kingdom of Sicily.
Verdura made history in the Empire by becoming the first nation to have its own social media account in November 2020. It was the only surviving nation from the Empire to not join the Agberian alliance when the Empire was dissolved on 1 November 2022. Former Empress Arlene currently serves as the heir to the Verduran Marble Throne.
Grand Duchy of Liguria
Liguria was the first success from the Call to Sovereignty initiative. Its founder, Grand Duke Gilbert, was the first ruler of what was then the Enclave de Cordova. Although he stepped down shortly after his cousin, the Empress, joined the Air Force, he remained involved in Agberian affairs as a whole. Initially planned to be a unique endeavor, plans were changed after the announcement of the Archduchy of Verdura, which had a similar identity to what was proposed for Liguria. It was the first nation in the empire planned to be a sister project to an existing nation. In order to further differentiate itself, Liguria had a strong focus on the arts as a part of its culture, which was built around a Northern Italian identity (specifically the Kingdom of Tuscany). It was formed out of land from the California area of the western United States.
Liguria had three provinces: Bellini, Raffaello, and Tiziano. The nation had three orders of chivalry, each focusing on a different aspect of the arts, and with a single rank and different regalia intended to form a full set when worn together. These orders were: the Order of Saint Genesius, recognizing the performing arts (acting, dancing, and music), which was represented by a sash and cordon; the Order of Saint Catherine, recognizing the visual arts (painting, drawing, and sculpting), which was represented by a medal worn from a necklet; and the Order of Saint Lucia, recognizing the written arts (poetry and other creative writing), which was denoted by the wear of a breast star. These three separate orders would be combined into a single concept when Liguria became a Verduran colony as the Order of the Three Saints.
The Grand Duchy was absorbed into the Archduchy of Verdura on 28 February 2021 as a colony, with its status being reduced to that of a Duchy. When it became a colony, Gilbert stayed on as the colonial administrator, albeit with a reduced noble title of Duke.
Tsardom of Severny
Severny was founded on 1 February 2021, as the second nation to be born out of the Call to Sovereignty initiative. Its identity was based around the traditions of late Grand Duchy of Moscow and the early Tsardom of Russia. The nation was formed as an enclave within the British Columbia region of Canada, with its seat of power being known as the Spruce Throne and its capital being Nikolagrad.
The nation was established with the intent of it being a fully formed idea from day one. Tsar Nicholas' debut of Severny was accompanied by what he called the серьезная работа (Romanized as Seryoznaya Rabota, which translates roughly to "the earnest work" in English). This existed as a series of 138 royal decrees published at once. These decrees totaled more than a thousand pages and covered a myriad of topics, which included: traffic rules; public health measures; establishing orders of chivalry; naming advisors and appointees; creation of a national recycling program; admonishing other nations and leaders on a number of matters of state; outlining symbols and holidays; cementing Severnii heraldic traditions; even banning political parties.
On 20 March 2021, Tsar Nicholas announced the pending acquisition of a "colonial holding." This colony was eventually revealed to be land held by Tsar Nicholas' family in the Yukon region of Canada, named Kalzas for the region in which it lies. Tsar Nicholas declared that Kalzas Colony would have a unique subculture within Severny, aimed at honoring First Nations peoples, a demographic he himself fell under due to his mother being a part of the Squamish people.
Severny wound up being incredibly short-lived. In June 2021, Tsar Nicholas announced that his family would be relocating to the Toronto area the next month, and that he would be dissolving the nation as a result. He stated a likelihood of returning to Agber as a head of state but was uncertain if this would be a retooling of Severny, or a brand-new venture entirely. The effective date of the disbanding of Severny and the Kalzas colony was announced as 15 June 2021.
Principality of Berwyn
The Principality of Berwyn was the third new nation to join the Empire from the Call to Sovereignty initiative, being formally established on 25 February 2021. Enclaved in Wales, the Principality was formed by former Sawatch citizen Prince Bernard. The cultural identity of Berwyn is formed primarily around Welsh traditions, with certain Cornish and Manx elements. The national sport of Berwyn is Falconry, with Prince Bernard having his own personal falcon, Olwen.
Berwyn's central (and largest) province, Carreg Newydd, is also the home to its capital, Glaslyn. This region is directly presided over by Prince Bernard. There are also two smaller provinces to the north and south. The northern province, Hough Twoaie, features a culture that maintains an identity that is clearly Berwynese, while also having distinct Manx influences. To the south of Carreg Newydd is the province of Grond Deghow, whose Welsh aspects are accompanied by distinct Cornish traditions.
From inception, Berwyn had two orders of chivalry. The higher of these, the Most Excellent Order of the Kite, has only one rank and is limited to 6 members. t was kept as the only distinctly Berwynese order after the formation of the Prydain Kingdom.
In April 2021 Berwyn began hosting a monthly virtual training series on skills deemed vital to appropriate period clothing of the Berwynese court. These sessions so far have covered blacksmithing and clothes dyeing. Future series are expected to focus on weaving, sewing, knitting, and chainmail. In July 2021, Berwyn hosted Queen Barbara of Maevis. This meeting began the process of the two nations combining, which would come to fruition on 5 January 2022 when the two combined with another project to form the Prydain Kingdom of Maevis, Berwyn, and Innèsoil. Prince Bernard would stay on as the Berwynese regional administrator and heir to Queen Barbara.
Royal Republic of Rivière Noire
The Royal Republic of Rivière Noire was formed on 27 February 2021. A result of the Empire's political infighting that resulted in the abdication of Empress Arlene, Rivière Noire was formed as a separatist nation from the Grand Duchy of Carthage's provinces of Black River, Rulison, and Turning. The Royal Republic's citizens elected their first ruler, King Quentin, on the following day.
The intent of the nation was initially to distance itself from the Empire of Agber. After the abdication of Empress Arlene, and the rise of her successor, Emperor Devon, Rivière Noire's stance softened. With the dissolution of Carthage in April 2021, King Quentin and Emperor Devon began discussing the possibility of Rivière Noire joining the Empire, which they would on 18 May 2021.
Rivière Noire was unique in the Empire, as it was the only nation to exist as a formal democracy. The Sovereign is elected to the Spring Throne by the citizens, and serves for life. The King or Queen may be removed from power by a two-thirds majority of vote of the citizens, who must then elect a new monarch. This method of selection was implemented in response to the reign of Grand Duke Eric, the underage son of the previous Grand Duke Louis. Since being crowned, Eric had no contact with anyone else in Carthage, to what was regarded as "ruinous effect."
Despite the circumstances of its admittance to the Empire indicating that Rivière Noire is a pseudo or de facto successor state to the Carthagean claim, King Quentin maintains that he sees the nation as a unique and separate nation from the former Grand Duchy, aside from the fact that the founding individuals were all former citizens of Carthage.
Rivière Noire survived the dissolution of the Empire on 1 November 2022 and became a founding member of the Agberian Alliance.
Grand Duchy of Lauchammer
Established in late 2021 by a college student in Texas, the Grand Duchy of Lauchammer was established to observe a Danish tradition. Grand Duke Maximillian is the son of two of the early participants in the then Enclave de Cordova, having learned of the Empire from his parents. Maximillian has announced a number of expansion initiatives, but for now prides himself on Lauchammer being a "one man show."
Lauchammer joined the majority of surviving Empire nations who founded the Agberian Alliance after the dissolution of the Empire of Agber on 1 November 2022.
Prydain Kingdom of Maevis, Berwyn, and Innèsoil
The Prydain Kingdom was formed on 5 January 2022 when the Kingdom of Maevis, Kingdom of Innèsoil, and Principality of Berwyn. As all three of them were located in the British Isles, it was thought that creating one Kingdome with more centralized powers might be advantageous to all of them. Innèsoil was reclassified as a Principality, with Berwyn retaining their status as the same.
In August of 2022, a Hawai'i-based nation joined the Prydain Kingdom: Ike Akua Nan̄a Nui Keikiali'i (commonly referred to as Ike Akua). Despite the name of the Kingdom remaining unchanged after it joined, Ike Akua is a fully integrated part of Pydain, not a colony. It enjoys the same benefits as the other two Principalities.
Officially, each of the Principalities within the Prydain Kingdom are officially ruled by Queen Barbara. In practice, however, Princes are given nearly full autonomy, including serving as the font of honor for the order of chivalry unique to their nation. These orders are:
- Maevis' Most Honourable Order of the North Sea, which is awarded by Queen Barbara and is limited to no more than nine members.
- Berwyn's Most Excellent Order of the Kite, which is awarded by Prince Bernard and is limited to no more than six members.
- Innèsoil's Most Noble Order of the Greene, which is awarded by Prince Liam and is limited to no more than seven members.
- Ike Akua's Royal Order of the Nene, which is awarded by Ali'i Makana and is limited to no more than nine members.
Prydain joined the majority of surviving Empire nations who founded the Agberian Alliance after the dissolution of the Empire of Agber on 1 November 2022.
Sultanate of the White Sands
The Sultanate of the White Sands was the final nation to be formed as a part of the Empire of Agber in March 2022. The nation was established in New Mexico by Sultan Ahmed, who previously had ties to the Shogunate. It had at least one order of chivalry: the Order of the Caracara. Although there had been previous secular governments within the Empire, White Sands was the only nation to have a non-Christian religion when it announced its adherence to Islam.
The Sultanate was a founding member of the Agberian Alliance after the dissolution of the Empire.
While all faiths were welcomed with open arms, the official religion of the Empire was Christian. During the Kingdom of Kolios era, a Church of Kolios existed with the Koliosian culture.